Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 5, 2008
Minicamp wrap and a notable visitor

ALAMEDA - Former Raiders running back Napolean Kaufman attended practice today.

He got a firsthand look at Darren McFadden, the rookie running back that many say is first big-play threat from the backfield since McCallum retired following the 2000 season.

"It's interesting talk, but we're kind of different kind of backs," Kaufman said. "We're really different in a lot of ways. He's a little bit more physical than I probably was. He's a bigger guy."

Kaufman is now the senior pastor at The Well, his church in Dublin.

"We've been there for five years and have an awesome ministry," Kaufman said. "I'm really enjoying it."

*Receivers coach James Lofton throws a nice ball. But that doesn't mean every pass is on target.

He instructed receivers to run 11 yards and be ready to comeback and catch the ball at 10 yards. Lofton's pass to Javon Walker was a bit off, but he still made the catch.

After being praised by offensive assistant Sanjay Lal for the grab, Walker told Lofton: "I made you look good."

*There were a few highlight plays in workouts today. Stanford Routt made a one-handed interception of a JaMarcus Russell pass intended for Drew Carter.

Marques Tuiasosopo made a nice pass to a diving Will Buchanon. Tuiasosopo's passes appear to have a lot more zip than I remember from his previous stint with the Raiders.

Johnathan Holland came up with a one-handed, diving catch near the sideline on a pass from Andrew Walter.

*Lane Kiffin expects "98 percent" of the players back for organized team activities the next two weeks. The players will workout Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

*Kiffin said he's impressed with the improvement for WR Johnnie Lee Higgins. He said he's stronger and more confident this year. Kiffin attributed some of the drops HIggins had yesterday to fatigue as the team is used him a lot on offense and special teams.

Kiffin said he was also impressed with how LT Kwame Harris is adjusting.

But he had some interesting things to say about RT Mario Henderson, who is trying to supplant Cornell Green for the starting job. The team wants to see more aggression from the second-year tackle.

"There's certain things that he does better (than Green). Has he caught him? No. Pads will be big for Mario. Mario's got a lot of tools but he needs to become a physical player. To play on this line, we want physical guys and so that's where Mario is going to have to really grow. We'll work as much as we can but we can only go so far here so preseason will be huge for him."


*No update on LaMont Jordan. So he's still a Raider (in name).

*Oren O'Neal (knee) and rookie WR Arman Shields (hamstring) did not practice.

*Now I must prepare for Lakers vs. Celtics. Guess who I'm rolling with?

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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